Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 732–743

Ethnic Identity in Context: Variations in Ethnic Exploration and Belonging within Parent, Same-ethnic Peer, and Different-ethnic Peer Relationships

Authors

    • Department of PsychologyWake Forest University
  • Andrew J. Fuligni
    • University of California
Empirical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-008-9278-7

Cite this article as:
Kiang, L. & Fuligni, A.J. J Youth Adolescence (2009) 38: 732. doi:10.1007/s10964-008-9278-7

Abstract

Within an ethnically diverse sample of young adults (n = 223, 26% Latin American, 14% Asian American, 32% Filipino American, 28% European American), average levels of ethnic identity was found to vary significantly across different relational contexts. Regardless of ethnicity, young adults reported highest levels of ethnic exploration and ethnic belonging with parents, followed by same-ethnic peers, then different-ethnic peers. Significantly greater variation between relational contexts generally was found for ethnic exploration compared to ethnic belonging. Greater variation in ethnic identity, particularly between same-ethnic and different-ethnic contexts was associated with lower self-esteem, positive affect, relational competence, and higher negative affect, though these liabilities were only found for European American youth. The discussion emphasizes the importance of examining ethnic identity as a dynamic construct that can vary as a function of relationships, and proposes directions for future research.

Keywords

Ethnic identityRelational variationParentsPeersAdjustment

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008